Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Treats

My kiddos LOVE Valentine's Day but I am actually not a fan of making out Valentine cards for each of them. (I guess some of us may never grow to like that part!) So, I came across this idea on Pinterest and I had to do it! It was pretty inexpensive and even the hubs thought they were pretty cool. (He's not a total fan of Pinterest so it takes something neat to impress him)  Below is the tag I created for my gifts.

Can you guess what I got them?

Super easy! Went to the store and bought a few packages of the mixed mini cereal boxes, plastic spoons, and ribbon. Attached the tag and VOILA my Valentines are complete. I'm pretty happy at the turn out. I guess we will have to see what my kiddos think of them on Thursday.

What do you do for your kids on Valentine's Day? Let me know so I can store those cute ideas away for next year! :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Power of Post-its and a Valentine's Freebie

We have been working on asking questions before, during, and after reading various texts.  I used the Comprehension Toolkit for an awesome lesson on questioning.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about this reading toolkit…it really gets my kiddos engaged in nonfiction texts. 
First, I read a nonfiction magazine which was included in the toolkit.  Students had two columns of sticky notes on their clipboards.  They had 2 post-its to write down “what they learned,” and two for “what they wonder.”  It’s amazing what the power of post-its can do!  As soon as I pass them out my kiddos get sooo excited! You can see how hard they were working sitting in different places throughout the classroom.  I often allow my students to sit at various places in the room (where I can see them of course) to really be able to think by themselves.

We met back at the carpet once I was finished reading the magazine and stopping for students to write on their post-its before, during, and after the text. Students then had a chance to share with the class what they learned and what they wondered. It is so neat to see my kiddos write their comments in complete sentences. What a difference from the beginning of the year to now!

We have also been working on counting money.  I just love when we get to this unit! So….I have created a Valentine’s Day money freebie that can be used as pre-test, post-test or simply just for practicing money.  There are three differentiated levels for counting money.  Students are to write the two values on the lines and then compare the amounts using >, < or =.  I hope you can use it with your kiddos!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


It's that time of the year when we teach our kiddos how to round. I don't mind rounding, except I can never find a method that seems to 'click' with all of my students. In the past I have used the number line. We find our number then look for the 'nearest ten'. Works for many of my kiddos but not all of them. I knew someone else had to have thought of something, so it was off to TpT. I came across this little pack and I was in love!

Rounding with Balloons

In short, you make a balloon around the number you are rounding to. The string 'holds' the number behind it. The number inside the string tells you how many fingers you have to take off of the balloon. If you take off too many, the balloon goes up (round up!) if you can still hold it, it stays down on the ground (round down!). (She does a much better job of explaining this than I do!) My kids absolutely loved the balloon trick. We used our pencils as our balloon strings and it was a great visual for some of my learners whether the balloon was going to go up or down.

After teaching both methods, I let my kids pick which way they liked better. I always find it interesting to see which kids pick certain methods. My favorite is when you tell them they can pick either method and some stare back at you like "I feel like this is a trick...."

I would say that rounding clicked with my students much easier this year thanks to Kelly Ryan. If you do rounding with your kiddos you really should head over her TpT store and check it out!

On a side note, I just purchased all of my 'supplies' for my Valentine's for my kids. I found my idea on Pinterest and I can't wait to put them together. Check back next week as I hope to get them ready this weekend!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Superbowl Sale!

How many of you are ready for the Superbowl? How many of you are ready to get some shopping done?

Head on over to our TpT store to check out our sale prices this Sunday.

Happy Shopping- I know we're thrilled at the chance to pick up some fabulous items as well!